What the BEEP!

Let me tell you a tale.

A tale of deception.
   A tale of confusion.
      A tale of a toaster oven.

I've always been a toaster over guy.  My parents flipped back and forth between toasters and toaster ovens.  Often having both of the counter at the same time.  I always leaned toward using the toaster oven.  It just was so much more convenient.

So, when I moved out on my own, they gave me a hand-me-down toaster oven.  Black & Decker.  It lasted a few years, and I replaced it with another B&D.  They both had that little lever on the front that when the timer was up, would ding a bell for you.  As the years went by, me and my toaster ovens made some great tuna melts, tater tots, and of course, toast.

5 years ago, as I was getting ready to move into my new condo, with the open concept kitchen.  I knew the old toaster oven was going to clash. Big time.  So I bought this sweet Cuisinart model.


(Not the actual toaster oven.  In all honesty, I didn't want to spend the time cleaning up the crumbs and 5 years of burnt on schmootz off it.)

It's a great toaster oven, but one thing: When it finished toasting, it shut off without a sound.  Just a subtle CLICK as the element turned off.  What's up with that?  Even the cheap-o models tell you when they are done.  They don't leave it up to you to remember that you toasted some raison bread half an hour ago and it's all cold and gnasty.

About 2 years ago, the strangest thing happened.  About twice, when it finished, it beeped.  But then we need to cook up some tater tots or something, and when we flipped it back to "Toast", it was silent again.

Until about 3 weeks ago.

After 5+ years, it now has decided to beep when it's done toasting.

And when it first did it, it freaked us the HELL OUT.  Nothing like a disembodied "Beep! Beep! Beep!" from the kitchen to get your attention.  Well, maybe when you're home, alone, in bed, getting ready to go to sleep, and you hear the terrifying sound of…

The toilet flushing.

But that's a story for another time.


Bracing For The Worst

So, a little over a year ago, we bit the bullet and took The Daughter® in for braces.  It was something that Cora was looking at back before the wedding, but since you pay such a front weighted fee for the braces, it just didn't make sense to do it before the move, and then with the court stuff going on and all, well, it just slide off to the side for a little while.

The Daughter's a beautiful young lady, but she was always embarrassed about her smile.  So, The Wife® called around for an orthodontist to get a preliminary consultation, and had a hard time finding anyone who had hours outside of school hours.  Seriously?  If you're an othro, most of your revenue comes from teenagers, right?  Who have school during the day, right? 

Anyway, when Cora eventually found one within walking distance from the school and the condo, who had evening and weekend hours, we set up that consultation.  Cora and I had talked about it.  With the parenting plan we have, The Daughter's biological father would be paying a portion of the bill, so we needed to do it in a fiscally responsible way, so we figured Invisaligns would be out, but maybe we would cover the cost difference between the old school metal braces and the semi-clear plastic ones.  She was already embarrassed about her smile, sticking her with a mouth full of steel for a couple of years seemed… cruel.

At the consultation, the ortho explained our options:

  • The old school metal braces were going to be around $5,000 and take about 2.5 years.
  • The clear plastic ones were going to be about $6,500 and he said that they broke a lot, and caused a lot more problems, including tooth damage than they were probably worth.

And that was it.  He ended his spiel.  As Cora, The Daughter, and I talked about the options, I asked him, "What about Invisaligns?"

"Oh, those would be about $5,000, same as the metal ones, and should take about 18 months."

WTF?  Dude, next time, lead with that.  LEAD WITH THAT!

Now, you have to be a good candidate with both the right type of dental issues and be able to follow the rules (wear them 20 hours a day, no eating with them in, etc.).  And the rule obeying girl with the front teeth that needed rotated was a great candidate.  So, they took a mold of her teeth, sent them off, and just before school last year, she started the program.


Now, if you don't know how it works, they take the "before" mold, and scan that into a computer and generate the "after", and then a number of incremental steps to get from "before" to "after" in 2 week increments.  Every 2 weeks, after the teeth have moved a little, you switch to the next set.  You are supposed to wear them 20 – 22 hours a day.  The orthodontist provides you with a handful of sets at a time.  When you need to get your next bunch, you schedule an appointment.  The Daughter has only been back to the chair once, for a couple minutes in all the appointments.  They are usually in/out in literally 5 minutes.  You take the trays out to eat and brush your teeth.  That means no food restrictions like regular braces.  But when they're in: cold water only.

Let me tell you, when you hear that they are virtually invisible, the truth is, they are.  I mean you have to be about a foot away and looking hard to notice them.  There was a bit of a lisp for the first few days, but it's faded.

And her teeth?  We're 30 sets in of the 34, and I have to tell you, if she stopped now, her teeth would be merely great.  I can't wait to see what the fine tuning of the last few sets.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Where's the proof?  Show me that smile."


She's getting a CD and a book that she's been waiting a long time for, so she's happy, and not remotely embarrassed to flash that smile.

That's how it worked for us.  Your mileage may vary.  Just saying that if you have a teen, don't rule out Invisaligns, and for sure, shop around for an orthodontist that has decent hours.